Intermediate filament assembly: fibrillogenesis is driven by decisive dimer-dimer interactions

Curr Opin Struct Biol. 1998 Apr;8(2):177-85. doi: 10.1016/s0959-440x(98)80035-3.


Intermediate filaments are built from one to several members of a multigene family encoding fibrous proteins that share a highly conserved hierarchic assembly plan for the formation of multistranded filaments from distinctly structured extended coiled coils. Despite the rather low primary sequence identity, intermediate filaments form apparently similar filaments with regard to their spatial dimensions and physical properties. Over the past few years, substantial progress has been made in the elucidation of the complex expression patterns and clinically relevant phenotypes of intermediate filaments. The key question of how these filaments assemble and what the molecular architecture of their distinct assembly intermediates comprises, however, has still not been answered to the extent that has been achieved for microfilaments and microtubules.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Birefringence
  • Dimerization
  • Humans
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / chemistry
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / genetics
  • Intermediate Filament Proteins / metabolism
  • Intermediate Filaments / chemistry*
  • Intermediate Filaments / ultrastructure
  • Macromolecular Substances
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Models, Molecular
  • Protein Conformation
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / genetics
  • Saccharomyces cerevisiae / metabolism


  • Intermediate Filament Proteins
  • Macromolecular Substances